LAFC Thrashes the Philadelphia Union
The Black and Gold would welcome the Philadelphia Union for the return leg of the 2023 Concacaf Champions League Semi-Final. After narrowly escaping with a 1-1 draw in Pennsylvania, LAFC had a golden opportunity to advance. Thus representing the MLS in the CCL Finals.
Los Angelinos would end up dominating a weak Union side and ultimately defeating their east coast rivals 3-0, with the goals coming from Timothy Tillman, Kwadwo Opoku, and Denis Bouanga.
LAFC will now have to wait and see who they face in the final. It will either be Tigres or Leon of Liga MX.
First Half Recap
LAFC would waste no time getting on the board as Tillman scored in the 11th minute, giving LAFC a 2-1 momentary lead. The Union needed to tie this game to send it to extra time but ultimately would fall short.
Once again, John McCarthy would play the hero role in this matchup as the Philadelphia native would make some crucial saves that allowed LAFC to maintain their lead.
There was a key moment in the 41st minute that would alter this game as Olivier Mbaizo would receive a booking that would cost him in the second half. As the first half ended, LAFC led 1-0 (2-1) and was inching closer to playing for another continental title.
Second Half Recap
With LAFC leading, this became their game to lose as the Union were the ones desperate for a goal to tie the series up. However, LAFC did not bend and added two more goals that completed the thrashing. Those goals would come after Mbaizo received another yellow card that led to an expulsion.
Now the Union had an even steeper mountain to climb, and that would ultimately be their downfall. Opoku sealed the win for LAFC in the 82nd minute after being assisted by Carlos Vela. Then in the 89th minute, the man of the moment made it 3-0 as Denis Bouanga scored his sixth goal of the competition.
Immediately upon restarting, the referee blew the whistle signaling the end of the match. With another superb performance, LAFC is cementing themselves as the favorites to win CCL.
Who Would They Face
LAFC will await the winner of Tigres vs. Leon. Currently, Tigres leads by a 2-1 aggregate. With the return leg being played at the Estadio Leon. Leon needs a 1-0 victory to tie the draw and send it into extra time. However, who would LAFC like to face in the final. Surprisingly LAFC has CCL history with both teams, and either would make for an epic matchup.
Leon and LAFC met back in 2020, pre-pandemic, and put on a spectacle! LAFC was down 2-0 before turning it around in the return leg, winning 3-0! However, the tournament would be paused due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Upon return, LAFC battled its way into the final. Where they subsequently faced off against Tigres in the final. LAFC would go on to lose heartbreakingly and has since longed for revenge.
Regardless of who LAFC faces, they seem to be the favorites to win. No matter what happens, this is the perfect moment for LAFC to cement themselves as the club that runs MLS.